Bryle Cuff
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Hey Dead of Winter fans!

I am in the process of combining the two games and have been confused about what to do with the location decks. The rule book suggests pulling a random 20 cards out of the combined 40 card deck on setup. Maintaining the card ratios is important to me so this is a poor solution. I also don't want to add to setup time by remaking the deck every time.

Should I just use the new location decks? Are these cards just better balanced and more well thought out than their original counterparts?

Thanks!
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Arra Hepina
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I agree with you regarding blindly combining the location decks. I'm all for variety, but blindly combining the old and new location decks and dealing 20 cards from them just makes the contents random.

Based on two plays, using the new decks alone seemed to work alright. Some old cards have extra rules, so it's nice for new players have them written on the cards themselves (food 1 for removing bandits, fuel for zombie killing, junk for improvements). I think there are less blueprints available as well, as the search bonuses were pretty damn powerful.

That said, while most of the new items are fun additions, I really dislike the grenade launchers. The Tikka rifles were must haves in the original, and replacing them with even more poweful versions makes the zombies a non-issue if you get them both early in the game. I have considered replacing them with the rifles, but unfortunately the old location decks have slightly different coloring, so it would be easy to tell when the rifles are coming up in the deck.

I would suggest giving the new location decks a try or two. I was more than happy with rest of the content combined.
 
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Benjamin D. C.
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So we combined the base and the expansion last time we played and this is how we did it...

Location Cards:
we kept all general items from each location cards from the expansion and took out "unique cards" from the expansion and base:
Example:
Police Station: take out the weapons (base and expansion), shuffle them, and deal randomly to back to the police station deck (expansion), then shuffle the deck (which will now be probably expansion + base weapon or just pure expansion). Unused weapons will go back to the box. There is a lost somewhere regarding the items to exclude. It was my friend who did this part, so I'm sorry if I don't have the list

Characters: Shuffle them together and take 25 randomly. If you're gonna use the modules, make sure those character specific modules are included in your deck of 25

Crossroads:
Tricky! Take out all character specific crossroads base on your 25 character deck, the rest goes back in the box. Shuffle both crossroads deck together (oh the chaos!) along with the character crossroads.
We added our own custom house rule with the crossroad deck. Draw 2, and only one can trigger (top of the deck triggers first).

Crisis: We used the expansion's deck

Objectives: Can be mixed if you want or just use the expansion

I know it's a lot of set up AND clean up (yikes). There must be a better way...

P.S. We enjoyed our game. I was playing with 3 DOW beginners that time.
 
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Bryle Cuff
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I'm trying to avoid the extra setup that you seem to have with your location deck setup. I'll have to forgo that specific strategy.

Is there any specific reason to separate the character cards. I understand the module specific characters but I don't understand separating the rest.

I plan to house rule that anytime a crossroad card is drawn and it does not immediately trigger, once per turn draw another card from the crossroad deck. This should help with dilution.
 
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Jamie
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Bryle wrote:
Is there any specific reason to separate the character cards. I understand the module specific characters but I don't understand separating the rest.


I don't plan on separating the character cards out. I am mixing both sets from each game. If someone gets dealt a character at the start that is module-specific, they can just redraw a new character.

I don't plan on making my set up more complicated. I am mixing the characters, secret objectives, betrayal, exile and crossroads cards. Then I am using the crisis cards and location decks from TLN. I may eventually do some sort of combination of location cards, from the base with TLN cards, but for now I am just using the new cards.
 
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Glen Lamb
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My take on this is that if you are trying to add variety to DoW through new cards then why wouldn't you want all available items to be able to make it in to your game?

I made a guide on combining both sets that shows how I've arranged mine up, it really doesn't add much time to set up and makes the decks variable while still balanced:

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/23578692

My police station set up looks like this:


If you do feel like it adds too much time to the setup though then maybe think about making one deck from both sets, for each location, a few of them are basically that anyway, the library, school and police station are the most varied, police station is simple enough to pick one of each gun (shown in my guide as suggestion 3)

Library has 9 books and 5 blueprints and they all have fun effects so it would be a shame to not randomise them IMO.

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Ryan M
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I personally would avoid the recommended random mix of item cards. I also would avoid just combining location decks as resource scarcity is a big part of the atmosphere of the game.

Like others above, I honestly think the best option is to combine the more special items in each location and randomize those. For example, pull the guns from the DoW police station and add those to TLN's police station. Then when you go to play, just randomly shuffle all the guns, draw 6 (or whatever the count should be) and then shuffle those into the police station deck. You can do the same for the library and books. The other decks likely aren't that specialized enough (or different from DoW) to worry much about.

If you are worried about set-up time, I say just do it once and play with that new "mix" for a few games. You don't need to randomize the decks every single game you play as the different objectives and game situations will keep it fresh anyway. The suggestion above will just add enough variety to ensure people are camping at the police station, for example, pushing to get the grenade launchers every game.

Most stuff is easy enough to just combine. Objectives, crises cards, etc. You could experiment fairly easily with the start items as well in a manner similar to above. Just mix starter food/junk/fuel from DoW with TLN and then randomly create a new starter item deck. It won't take too much time if you do it in advance and then just use that new deck for multiple games.

Crossroad cards aren't too bad either. However, what I've done is pulled all the character cards and kept them separate (except for those that trigger if character is still in survivor deck), much like the module specific ones. Everything else is combined. Then when I play I don't use the whole deck. I maybe use half or 2/3. I will then shuffle in any module specific cards. Then the only REAL extra work out of everything I mentioned is I will only include character crossroad cards if they are in use.

Honestly, aside from the character crossroad cards, everything else is pretty quick and easy to do in advance (I usually organize it the night before I expect to play). And if you don't randomize every single time you play, it's even easier. The crossroad deck is the only real work but if you decide to take the time, it does make a difference as you can essentially control (based on how many "regular" cards you use) how likely you are too see the character cards trigger. However, there is really no reason you can't just dump them all together. It just makes it less likely you will trigger the more specific cards.
 
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Anthony L.
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iccaro wrote:

Crossroads:
Tricky! Take out all character specific crossroads base on your 25 character deck, the rest goes back in the box. Shuffle both crossroads deck together (oh the chaos!) along with the character crossroads.
We added our own custom house rule with the crossroad deck. Draw 2, and only one can trigger (top of the deck triggers first).


I was actually considering pulling out all the character specific cards and just mixing in the ones for the characters you actually have in that particular game, leaving the rest nearby for when/if extra survivors join the colony. Did that work well when you played?
 
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Erwin Anciano
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If scarcity is the issue, combining decks actually makes scarcity worse as it makes it harder to find cards. The real problem with combining decks is that base game cards are generally weaker than expansion cards. Like, Food can't be traded with bandits, gas can't be used to kill zombies, etc. It's a stupid imbalance that is just poorly designed -- unless you house rule it.

Things are still going to be scarce because you can only search so much. I'd be surprised if anybody ever managed to clean out an entire deck of 40 cards.

Still, that makes for a "screwed you" feel that I like about this game. So I'd say just combine everything.

Crossroads cards are a bigger mess though. I think combining Crossroads decks is not a good idea as you'll rarely see triggers. Last night when we played we triggered like 10 crossroads cards. I think Long Night is better at it (or we're just plain lucky/unlucky). Combining decks will lower the trigger chance.
 
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Nathan McCullough
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Wonder if you combine both decks and then when a bandit icon comes up for crisis, you just add two bandits at each location instead of one.

Would make them much more menacing and they would tend to take more cards, would give more incentive to search their hideout also?

 
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Ryan M
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Mochana wrote:
If scarcity is the issue, combining decks actually makes scarcity worse as it makes it harder to find cards. The real problem with combining decks is that base game cards are generally weaker than expansion cards. Like, Food can't be traded with bandits, gas can't be used to kill zombies, etc. It's a stupid imbalance that is just poorly designed -- unless you house rule it.

Crossroads cards are a bigger mess though. I think combining Crossroads decks is not a good idea as you'll rarely see triggers. Last night when we played we triggered like 10 crossroads cards. I think Long Night is better at it (or we're just plain lucky/unlucky). Combining decks will lower the trigger chance.


I strongly disagree with your first point. The DoW and TLN location decks are the same ratio of different cards. So the statistical likelihood of finding a certain card is equally the same whether you have 20 cards in a deck or 40. Sure, there could be MORE of a chance that all the food cards, for example, are all at the bottom of the deck, but the opposite could also be true.

When I speak of scarcity, I think of examples where you are playing "Too Many Mouths", keep hitting the food-related crisis cards and have an objective where you need to horde food. There just isn't enough cards in the game. Or the long missions where you just need to survive. If you have bad luck, you could very well run out of certain cards. That would no longer be the case if you doubled the deck sizes. You may not FIND the cards, but you KNOW they are there and if you use search characters and/or blueprints and/or drone and/or noise (not to mention a character who can get rid of noise) you always have a chance.

I had the opposite experience with TLN crossroad card though. I've actually scanned through the triggers of TLN's non-module crossroad cards. Honestly, I think they are much more specific compared to DoW and would be harder to trigger. A number have quite complex trigger conditions. When we played, we were more likely to trigger the character cards (which rarely to never triggered in DoW) and the module specific cards. So I actually pulled the "basic" crossroads from DoW that trigger just when at the colony or when moving, etc, and then had way more cards trigger in our game.

So I recommend doing at least that much. But yes, there is no simple solution to the crossroad cards if you want to mix the sets. It's going to take some extra work to find the right balance.
 
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Ryan M
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Adonai_80 wrote:
Wonder if you combine both decks and then when a bandit icon comes up for crisis, you just add two bandits at each location instead of one.

Would make them much more menacing and they would tend to take more cards, would give more incentive to search their hideout also?



There is one crisis card that directs you to add bandits to every location. You could just start with that one in play, or set up the crises deck so that it comes out in the first few rounds. That may make a difference as well.
 
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Dylan Thurston
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I just wanted to note that there are official rules for using original crisis cards with Long Night and bandits. (Basically, you add the bandits randomly.)
 
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Glen Lamb
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Quote:
When I speak of scarcity, I think of examples where you are playing "Too Many Mouths", keep hitting the food-related crisis cards and have an objective where you need to horde food. There just isn't enough cards in the game


This is one of the reasons why the game is so good.

You have to make decisions like do we sack off the crisis to make sure we don't starve? Sure the colony are eating out of date food but at least they aren't starving and that's overall better for morale.

Or "do I want to horde this food in my hand for my secret objective and risk not wining the main objective, or do I play the cards and help the colony?"

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soak man
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The problem with keeping all 40 cards at each location isn't about ratio, it's more about the objectives and secret objectives that require you to completely deplete X amount of locations of their search deck. I suppose you could house rule that you need to deplete AT LEAST 20 from each deck, but then you have to take the time to stop and card count.

I prefer the solution that randomizes only the unique cards of each location for more randomization. I find that the new food, fuel, and junk are essential if you are using the modules at all and would rather not play a game where only specific ones can be used for the modules. I also personally think that certain characters make the Library fairly OP if you know what books it contains from the get go. I'd much rather have a random selection of books at least there.

It adds to set-up time, but I think it makes the play more compelling.
 
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Davy Ashleydale
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I just did a little test run of mixing the Gas Station cards together from both sets and removing a random 20. I did it 10 times (using a random number generator) and here are the results.

Gas Station DoW - Fuel 6, Weapons 5, Food 3, Medicine 3, Outsiders 3
Gas Station TLN - Fuel 6, Weapons 4, Food 4, Medicine 3, Outsiders 3

Run 1: Fuel 9, Weapons 4, Food 3, Medicine 2, Outsiders 2
Run 2: Fuel 4, Weapons 6, Food 2, Medicine 4, Outsiders 4
Run 3: Fuel 6, Weapons 3, Food 4, Medicine 3, Outsiders 4
Run 4: Fuel 3, Weapons 4, Food 7, Medicine 4, Outsiders 2
Run 5: Fuel 5, Weapons 6, Food 5, Medicine 2, Outsiders 2
Run 6: Fuel 6, Weapons 6, Food 5, Medicine 0, Outsiders 3
Run 7: Fuel 4, Weapons 6, Food 3, Medicine 4, Outsiders 3
Run 8: Fuel 5, Weapons 6, Food 3, Medicine 3, Outsiders 3
Run 9: Fuel 4, Weapons 5, Food 3, Medicine 4, Outsiders 4
Run 10: Fuel 6, Weapons 4, Food 2, Medicine 3, Outsiders 5

Run 4 is fairly odd with only 3 Fuel and 7 Food, but the other nine runs don't seem that statistically different, just eyeballing it.

Meh, it doesn't seem like enough of a concern to me to increase my set up time by picking and choosing cards from each set to maintain the original ratios.

I'm just going to randomly choose 20 out of 40 for each location. I'm fine with the possibility of a few weird anomalies once in a while and I like the stories that come up. "I could have sworn that gas station had more gas! This is going to be rough, people..."
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